A Look Back on 2017 Match Stories…

This year’s National College Match was the biggest yet, with 5,759 students selected as Finalists and 918 students matched with our college partners! These record-breaking numbers mean that more students than ever before have been awarded full four-year scholarships. Their stories always inspire and amaze us, and as we look back at the year, we wanted to share some reactions from recently matched students.

“The moment that I discovered that I was matched to the University of Chicago, I immediately stood up and screamed with excitement that I had been given such an amazing opportunity. I just felt an extreme sense of happiness that all my hard work and determination finally paid off with the message that stated that I had matched with UChicago. My father also had the same sense of happiness that I had, and my mother wept with tears of joy.”

-Timothy L., University of Chicago, Class of 2022

“It was like an elephant had been taken off my chest, I was so relieved. I had done it! 12 years of work and the last year of working up the resolve to believe that I could get into a school like Bowdoin, validated. I was so glad. So glad to be going to a school that was beyond anything that I had dreamed about before QuestBridge.”

-Elizabeth B., Bowdoin College, Class of 2022

“It felt unreal at first. I saw the “Congratulations” message and put down my phone, thinking this was a dream. My mom made me pick it back up and read which school I had been matched to. When I read out “Duke University,” she started crying with happiness, and I finally realized that I was just accepted to one of my dream schools with a full scholarship. It was absolutely the greatest moment of my life!”

-Lina L., Duke University, Class of 2022

“A thousand tons of bricks were lifted off my shoulders. I was completely incapable of feeling the amount of joy that letter gave me, and I walked around the rest of the day in complete shock. Then I got right to making my poster in an attempt to make it feel real.”

-Morgan H., Northwestern University, Class of 2022

“Finding out that I was matched was a surreal experience. For days, I looked back on my acceptance notification making sure I was not imagining the whole thing. Now that I know I have been accepted into college with a full scholarship, I feel a weight lifted off my chest. I no longer need to worry about applications or finding ways to pay off college. My dream has come true, and I could not have done it without QuestBridge.”

-Ricardo S., Princeton University, Class of 2022

These are just a few of the stories from our newest QuestBridge Scholars, and we look forward to welcoming even more Finalists into the QuestBridge Scholars Network through QuestBridge Regular Decision!

Dear QB: What is QuestBridge Regular Decision?


QuestBridge Regular Decision is a unique opportunity to apply to QuestBridge college partners after the National College Match. This means that students who did not match or who did not participate in rankings can still apply—and be admitted!—to any of our college partners. You can select schools you’d like to apply to on your QuestBridge Regular Decision Form from November 6 to December 11.

Here’s a breakdown of the benefits of applying through QuestBridge Regular Decision: Continue reading

9 Financial Aid Tips for First-Timers

FullSizeRender (1)It’s that time of year again to apply for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (better known as the FAFSA). For many of you, this may be the first time you start treading into the uncharted waters of financial aid. While the FAFSA may seem daunting, the task can easily be broken down into steps … although it may be many, many, steps. But fear not, you can triumph this great feat.

Here are some reminders, tips, and advice for approaching the financial aid application process. Continue reading

Are You Ready To Be A Carl?

On the first day of my visit to Carleton College on Accepted Students Weekend, I felt like I was on a reality show. I was one of dozens of accepted students, sitting in a large auditorium, waiting for my name to be called by one of the hosts. Whoever would call my name would give me their personal tour of Carleton, clear out a space in their dorm for me to sleep, and shape my perception of the school. Finally my name was called by Sasha, a freshman Quest Scholar at the time.

Sasha immediately made me feel comfortable; the pressure of the “Are You Ready To Be A Carl?” faded and I felt at ease. Having applied through QuestBridge to Carleton, I had dozens of questions: Should I consider non-QuestBridge schools? How will I know that this QuestBridge school is THE school? How do I weigh the importance of financial aid in my final decision? Sasha discussed her experience with the application process and answered even my most trivial questions. Besides mitigating the stress of the decision process, Sasha enabled me to fall in love with Carleton.Carleton College

In the evening, Sasha invited me to follow her to an Ebony practice, one of Carleton’s dance performance groups, open to dancers with two left feet, two right feet, or one of each. I sat in the front of the dance room with other accepted students and watched all of the Carls dance to Lady Gaga. Some Carls were on beat, confident in every move they made; others were lost two measures behind, hysterically laughing, making enthusiastic faces to compensate for their dancing. Carleton’s personality shone through ten times more than it had on the classic tours, the information sessions, and the student panels of other schools. And I adored its personality.

Before coming to Carleton, I didn’t quite understand what it meant to be a Quest Scholar once on a campus. Sasha showed me that it means you are finally allowed to dance; the stress of college applications and financial aid forms were over. As a Quest Scholar, you finally are given four years, at an amazing school, to spend dancing.

By: Margot Radding

Carleton College, Class of 2018

My Personal College Bucket List

Emily1Live off campus with friends. Living on campus is a great way to make friends your first year at school and eases the transition from home. You don’t have to clean your bathroom or make your own meals and you get to live with your classmates. However, as a third or fourth year, living in a house with friends sounds ideal. I can imagine cooking dinner at night and sitting on the porch in the evenings doing readings together; it would be lovely.

Study abroad. Between high school and college I took a gap year through Global Citizen Year and lived in Senegal for eight months. The program was oriented towards cultural immersion rather than education per se. Since then I’ve been itching to go abroad again. I would love to spend my third year in another country studying.

Be an SA. Getting involved is important in high school, but somehow feels more significant in college. SA stands for Student Advisor at Grinnell. They are the two 4th years assigned to each dorm floor who are in charge of the residents on that floor. But unlike other schools, they’re not disciplinary. They’re just there to help in any way you need and make you pancakes on Sunday mornings.

Have a meaningful summer internship. Internships allow you to experience the work market in an impermanent, less scary way than your first post-graduation job. You get to test out what you might be interested in pursuing down the line, but whether you like it or not, it only lasts a few months.

Visit a friend at his/her school. Why not visit your friends where they go to school? Colleges are not all the same. It will help you to understand what environment they’re experiencing and for you to put your perspective on your school into context.

Play a sport. I miss playing tennis. I played in high school and then didn’t play over my gap year because, well, Senegal doesn’t have many tennis courts. I then decided to ease into college by not committing 3 hours a day away to tennis in the fall and spring. While I think it was a wise decision for my first year, I cannot wait to play next year. Athletes do an amazing job balancing academics and their sport. I want to see if I can do it too.

Emily Stevens, Quest Scholar, Grinnell ’19